Government commits to supports for those affected by Camhs scandal

Government Commits To Supports For Those Affected By Camhs Scandal
The Minister of State for Mental Health says the Government is taking a three-pronged approach to dealing with issues raised by the controversy in South Kerry.
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James Cox

The Government did not oppose a Sinn Féin motion over the Kerry mental health scandal last night.

It called for supports for the 46 children who were 'significantly harmed' by the failings of a junior doctor in South Kerry Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (Camhs)


The party also demanded more investment in children's mental health care, with extra recruitment to tackle long waiting lists.

Audits of Camhs teams are expected to be completed by the middle of the year.

Minister of State for Mental Health Mary Butler says the Government is taking a three-pronged approach to dealing with issues raised by the controversy in South Kerry.

As well as the team audits, there will be an examination of prescribing practices.


Ms Butler said the Health Service Executive (HSE) has met with 198 of the 240 young people affected and their families to discuss the issues with the care they received and discuss supports.

“The HSE apologised to each individual at these meetings and subsequently in writing for any harm caused,” she said.


Taoiseach Micheál Martin previously said Government will pursue a “non-adversarial” mechanism to deal with Kerry mental health services.

A review of the care of more than 1,300 children under Camhs, published last week, found that 46 young people suffered significant harm.


The HSE report found that hundreds of children received “risky” treatment by a doctor working in the service.

A Garda spokesperson said that gardai in Kerry are “in receipt of the detailed and extensive final report, which will now be considered in the context of whether there are grounds to commence a criminal investigation”.

“An Garda Síochána is fully aware of the impact this report has had on a number of families within the Kerry Division.”

The spokesperson said that any parent or guardian of a child who believe they may have suffered harm should contact gardaí.

“Any contacts will be treated sensitively and with the strictest confidence,” the statement said.

“The Divisional Protective Services Unit in Kerry will engage with each of the families involved and the specific circumstances of their individual case.

“An assessment will be carried out by the specialist team within the DPSU to determine whether the complaint reaches the threshold to commence a criminal investigation.”

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